Yes Trespassing

March 7, 2024

Person in a dark green cape sitting in a lush green abandoned train track.
7/13 3:59:00 UTC
Have you ever done something illegal and felt a mixture of fear and shame, but also a sense of wonder and profound joy?

Well, we have, and that thing is called trespassing. 

During one of our earliest activities as a company, a small group of us set out to hike a trail one morning in the beautiful British countryside. We didn’t even know we were on private land, we were just following the trail and marveling at the Spring sunshine and sounds around us. Still when an older white man stepped into our path and told us GET OUT and TURN AROUND, chastened, we immediately obeyed. 

Not anymore.

Not since we discovered that there is a wildly popular and important social movement in which we can participate simply by doing what we most like to do: hiking trails, swimming in open water, exploring undiscovered and off-the-beaten-path parts of the city. That movement is called the Right to Roam. It promotes equitable access to nature, fosters a deeper connection with the natural world, and empowers individuals to explore and enjoy the outdoors in ways that respect the environment and the rights of others. Everything you need to know about participating can be found in the movement leader’s book, The Tresspasser’s Companion: A field guide to reclaiming what is already ours.

So when it was time to shoot our Spring Summer 24 collection, we set out to trespass. We chose La Petite Ceinture in Paris, an abandoned railway that was Paris’ first metro-like urban transport until the Metro superseded it in the early 1900s.

Paris has been aggressively greening in recent years, and as part of that movement, a third of the abandoned railway has been converted into public parks. However, two-thirds remain off-limits, and that’s where we set our sights. Abiding by the etiquette of the Trespasser’s Code of Conduct, we enjoyed a beautiful day exploring its flora and fauna.  Many thanks to Bruno Bretelle for his excellent website dedicated to the Little Belt, without whom we would probably still be lost in the catacombs trying to find a way in.